Bands

The bands are at the heart of the Swanage Folk Festival, with many people coming just to see their favourite band. Some concerts are free, for others you’ll need to buy a ticket. Most of the concerts are played in Sandpit field (number 1 on the map), but check the location of the acts you’re interested in (there’s a map available on this site if you’re not sure where to find the locations).

Click on any of the entries below to get more information. At the bottom of this page is a map of the festival locations.

Man The Lifeboats

Man The Lifeboats

Man The Lifeboats play raucous, upbeat folk music, dragging traditional folk tunes kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The craft songs with big choruses that tell stories. Songs with straight-up lyrics, pounding bass lines, lilting mandolin and fiddle...

Seth Lakeman

Seth Lakeman

Seth Lakeman with singer songwriter Alex Hart and Benji Kirkpatrick (guitars). Westcountry folk singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lakeman was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2005 for 'Kitty Jay'. It catapulted Lakeman into the forefront of the...

Sheelanagig

Sheelanagig

Sheelanagig for over a decade have brought their array of foot-stomping folk tunes to audiences across the globe. A quintet with a well-stocked armoury of stringed instruments – guitar, fiddle, double bass – added with the rhythmic energy of flute and drums and a...

Kelp Shantymen

Kelp Shantymen

Swanage’s Premier sea shanty group, singing shanties to anyone who gets too close. Kelp Shantymen have been entertaining the people of Purbeck for several years, raising money for the RNLI and other charities.

Tinderbox

Tinderbox

Award winning contemporary folk group, Tinderbox were originally formed in 1997 by Dublin born singer-songwriter, Monique Houraghan, and guitarist/songwriter, Dan Tucker. Since 2007, talented multi-instrumentalist and session musician Bob Burke has completed the...

Suthering

Suthering

Suthering means "the sound of the wind through the trees or wind under a birds wing". The Suthering  combines the musical talents of Julu Irvine and Heg Brignall. A couple in life and in music, the duo have taken the folk scene by storm with their unusual and fresh...

Banter

Banter

Banter is Simon Care on melodeon, Nina Zella on keyboards and vocals and Tim Walker on drums, percussion, brass and dance calling. Banter are rooted in English traditional music, but incorporate influences of pop, jazz, soul and big band sounds. Although just three...

Monkey See Monkey Do

Monkey See Monkey Do

Monkey See Monkey Do met in Southampton's bustling folk scene (Aaron and Sam grew up there, although Helen and Matt didn't). The band came together in the summer of 2015. Combining vocals with fiddle, guitar, bodhran, clarinet and the occasional squeeze of melodeon,...

Mother Ukers

Mother Ukers

Mother Ukers are proving to be a big hit on the musical entertainment scene, performing a repertoire of songs you know in their own unique 1920's ukular style & with a constantly busy schedule of gigs and appearances throughout the UK. In the last 10 years they...

Oysterband

Oysterband

Oysterband play modern folk-based British music, acoustic at heart, sometimes rocking. Since 1978 they've toured in 35 countries - festivals, concerts, bars, rallies, jails - They won 5 BBC Folk Awards and made 13 studio albums and one DVD. Oysterband consists of John...

Geoff Lakeman & Rob Murch

Geoff Lakeman & Rob Murch

Geoff Lakeman masterfully teases English & Irish folk, Americana and Jazz songs out of his vintage duet concertina. Rob Murch brings the wow factor to the banjo, with his unique, punchy fingerstyle playing. Both live on Dartmoor, so it was inevitable they’d...

Old Baby Mackerel

Old Baby Mackerel

Old Baby Mackerel play high-energy, foot-stomping Bluegrass featuring a dizzying line-up of renowned musicians from some of the UK’s best folk, Americana and festival bands – Aaron Catlow (Sheelanagig), Bill Frampton (Boogaloo String Band), Kai Carter (Young Waters)...

Honey & the Bear

Honey & the Bear

British folk and roots duo Honey & the Bear combine delicately interweaving vocal harmonies with emotive and evocative songwriting. With a diverse range of sounds and textures, and rhythms that flow from the fast and furious to gentle ballads, their live...

Bram Taylor

Bram Taylor

Bram Taylor has established a reputation both in the UK and abroad. He engages audiences with his rich voice and entertaining sense of humour, performing a selection of traditional and contemporary material. Bram sings a cappella and also plays guitar, baritone...

Wareham Whalers

Wareham Whalers

Wareham Whalers have been performing shanties and sea songs for over 15 years. Their style reflects that used on board the sailing ships to accompany the hard work needed to be carried out. The Wareham Whalers aim to capture the strength of this music, there's never a...

Amy Thatcher and Fran Knowles

Amy Thatcher and Fran Knowles

‘Accordion star’ and ‘fearless experimenter within British folk music’ Amy Thatcher has teamed up with drummer Fran Knowles. Together they are putting themselves at the forefront of experimental instrumental sounds with a cocktail of folk-inspired melodies and...

The Magpies Duo

The Magpies Duo

Based on a deeply felt musical friendship, The Magpies work collaboratively, arranging material led by powerful vocals and glittering instrumental ornamentation. They each draw on their wide-ranging influences to create a unique blend of transatlantic folk,...

Faustus

Faustus

Faustus are recognised worldwide. In early 2020 the band were performing at venues in Australia and New Zealand. Playing music for our times, Faustus take traditional English music, rip it up, put it together again and move it on. A vigorous rhythmic impetus and...